Wednesday, 14 September 2016

No thank you, Mr Juncker

Delivering the State of the European Union Address 2016, Jean-claude Juncker has it that "Being European also means a fair playing field. This means that workers should get the same pay for the same work in the same place." This is a timely reminder of the reason we need to leave the EU. Not content with a single market in goods and services there has to be a social agenda as well - creating distortions with top-down attempts to remove imbalances.

Except we haven't even managed to bridge the equality gap on a UK basis let alone the EU. There are huge economic disparities between the UK and the rest of the country - as reflected in the referendum results. Moreover, the chances are we won't fix it. We must simply adapt.

Different parts of the country serve different cultures and diversity means there is space for the differently motivated. If you want a life built around a career, you go to London. If you prefer the easy life, you move up north. Since we are never going to resolve the economic disparities or homogenise UK culture, the only real solution is more economic and democratic autonomy the local level. That way people can live according to their own value system. The very opposite of what Juncker has in mind.

I do not want the homogenised Europe that Mr Juncker proposes. It won't work. What Britain needs to heal is a dynamic and fluid labour market without the distorting interventions of government. We've had EU workers rights for some time but unless you can afford the legal process and can spare the mental exertion, your rights are pretty much worthless. We would rather have an economy where we can drop out of one job and into the next without prolonged periods of unemployment.

Because of the red tape involved in employment the process of recruitment is a lot more risk averse and expensive. Brexit means we can cut through that. It's better for business and it's better for workers. In the end, a job is better than bulletproof rights. If we want better pay and conditions then I have more faith in unions than a remote supreme government. Brexit is an opportunity for unions to start doing their jobs. When it comes down to it, things work better when people govern themselves. That's ultimately why I voted to leave. 

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